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Watchdog Group Files Ethics Complaint Against Kushner

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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A legal watchdog group filed an ethics complaint Thursday, alleging that senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner failed to mention one of his businesses to the government.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) claims that their goal is to expose ethics violations by government officials. In a Thursday press release, the organization claimed that Kushner has failed to disclose mandatory information of his ownership of an online real estate investment company named Cadre.

“CREW respectfully requests that the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) determine whether White House Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President Jared Kushner failed to make the required disclosure of his ownership interest in an online real estate investment company called Cadre, and take appropriate action to ensure Mr. Kushner’s potential conflicts of interest in the technology and electronic commerce sectors are eliminated,” CREW’s statement said.

Kushner reportedly co-founded Cadre, a New York based real estate financial technology firm. CREW chose to file its complaint because organization officials say Kushner did not disclose his affiliation with the company in his public financial statement.

“Kushner’s failure to disclose his ownership in Cadre is very troubling,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “It appears to be one of his larger investments, not something he could easily overlook, and it is impossible to ensure that senior government officials are behaving ethically if they fail to disclose key assets.” (RELATED: Report: Jared Kushner Under FBI Scrutiny In Russia Probe)

CREW’s statement alleged that OGE granted a certificate with incomplete information from Kushner, and was given permission to sell all of his assets and avoid paying specific taxes on them. The watchdog group believes that Kushner cannot engage in these actions, especially because Cadre is worth a reported $800 million.

“OGE should investigate immediately and determine whether any sanction or referral is appropriate for Kushner’s potential disclosure violations and whether it is necessary for him to fully divest from Cadre,” Bookbinder said. “As one of the most senior members of the administration, it is of the utmost importance that Kushner is following ethics rules and regulations and avoiding conflicts of interest.”

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